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Ukraine missed its chance – Moscow

Ukrainian leaders have blown their chance to find a favorable exit from the country’s conflict with Moscow, so any agreement to end the fighting will be inferior to the deal from which President Vladimir Zelensky walked away in March 2022, a top Russian diplomat has claimed.

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“Ze’s Ukraine has squandered its chances for such a favorable off-ramp,” Russia’s deputy UN ambassador, Dmitry Polyanskiy, said on Saturday in an X (formerly Twitter) post. “Any possible deal now will be reflecting its capitulation.”

Polyanskiy made his comment in response to a claim by Michael McFaul, a prominent anti-Russia figure in the West, that Russian President Vladimir Putin was never serious about forging a peace agreement with Ukraine. The Russian diplomat was apparently referring to a preliminary deal reached at peace talks hosted by Türkiye in March 2022. Putin later held up the agreement at a meeting with African leaders, saying Ukrainian leaders had thrown it into “the garbage dump of history.”

READ MORE: Time for peace talks – former Zelensky adviser

“It’s already common knowledge that it was initiated by Ze’s negotiators, and its copy was shown by President Putin himself,” Polyanskiy said. “And this story as well as the direct role of the UK and the US in convincing Ze to reject it was corroborated by many witnesses.”

Since that time, Ukraine has lost hundreds of thousands of troops. Ukrainian forces have suffered more than 125,000 casualties just since June, when their failed counteroffensive began, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. With the US and EU struggling to get approvals for additional military aid to Kiev, the Western media narrative on Ukraine’s prospects has turned gloomier.

McFaul, a US ambassador to Russia under then-President Barack Obama, downplayed his influence over the Ukraine crisis, saying, “I’m just a professor far, far away.” Polyanskiy replied that McFaul was being too modest: “We all know your true destructive role in the post-Soviet space.”

READ MORE: Endgame: How will Ukraine look after its defeat?

The Russian diplomat noted that in a 2012 interview, McFaul described himself as a “specialist on democracy, anti-dictator movements, revolutions.” He added that the professor could take credit for Ukraine’s missed opportunity to make peace because of his “constant warmongering” and “misleading US public on the real situation on the ground.”

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